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Frank Mahony: Bike Roosters


Frank Mahony

Frank Mahony

Bike Roosters

8/6/2009   Comment on This

Ok. I’ve been avoiding writing this one because I know it will piss off some people but I cannot stay bottled up like this forever or my head will explode.

Bike Roosters Ride in packs showing their colorful plumageI’ve had it - up to here - with the obnoxious bicyclists.

I’m sure some of you ride bicycles. I occasionally ride a bicycle for exercise when I am in downtown Chicago. I’m not complaining about people using a bike “smartly” as a vehicle or for exercise or just for joy riding with the kids.

I’m talking about the wannabe “gold medalists” that travel in hoards while wearing their pretty outfits and going out of their way to disrupt traffic.

I’m talking about the Bike Roosters…

I live in a rural town where we have narrow, winding 2 lane roads. On the weekends, we are infiltrated by “men” (?) zipped into fluorescent/skin tight costumes that are pink, yellow, lime green and orange. Assuredly, these high tech racing suits must improve their average speed by at least 1/1000 of a second over a 10 miles stretch.

Bike Roosters know the skill of squirting water in a stylish way so that it drips out of their mouthThe Bike Roosters are not from the neighborhood. Instead, they drive here from wherever with bikes clamped onto car trunks as they descend on the parking lots of the local nature preserves and ball fields. Just because they aren’t from “around here” doesn’t mean that they don’t own the road though. They want you to know that they are operating a vehicle too, deserving the same respect as any Hummer or Escalade. Even though they should be single file, they ride three or more across in the lane, shoulder to shoulder, while simultaneously squirting bottled water in their mouths like some synchronized swim team.

Never mind that they can’t achieve even 8 miles per hour on an uphill road with a 40 MPH speed limit. And they know you’re behind them because they all have rearview side mirrors hooked onto their safety helmets. They expect you to drive at a crawl behind them, holding your foot on the brake pad, until the next downhill coast point where they can get up to 2/3 of the posted limit.

If you are behind them, just try to go around them! They pour on their best “extra effort” to see if they can match your 5.0L V8 that was designed to pull a 50 foot yacht. Suddenly, you’ll see a wild but impotent flailing of arms, legs, knees and elbows achieving no additional speed but instead swerving them all over the road like some haywire gyroscope to prevent you from getting ahead.

Bike Roosters own the roadEven though they will work feverishly to stop you from passing them, if they approach from behind while you’re waiting at a red light, they’ll all drive around and ahead of you - stopping in front of your car to be first when the light turns green. If the cross traffic is light enough, they’ll ignore the red light and go.

The rules of the road only apply to them “sometimes” when it works to their advantage.

  • Is it a power trip?

  • Is it their “look at me” moment for the week?

  • Do they expect Olympic talent scouts to be around the corner looking for the next Lance Armstrong?

  • What is going through their heads?

If you’re a Bike Rooster and think I am wrong, send me an email to tell me why. I can’t wait to hear your side of the story.

Either way – stay out of my neighborhood or I’ll laugh you off the road.


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